Can offensive tackle Matt Gono earn a role with the 2022 New York Giants? Let’s discuss Gono as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster heading into training camp.
By the numbers
Position: Offensive tackle
Contract: One-year, $1.1875 million | Guaranteed at sign: $175,000 | 2022 cap hit: $995,000
Career to date
A Cinnaminson, N.J. native, Gono played in 21 games with four starts for Atlanta in 2019 and 2020. He missed the 2021 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Gono, still only 25, played 232 snaps at right tackle for Atlanta in 2020. He has played nine snaps at left tackle, 72 at left guard and 36 at right guard, per Pro Football Focus.
Gono’s Pro Football Focus grades were 57.3 in 2019 (52.0 pass blocking, 57.7 run blocking and 54.9 in 2020 (46.6 pass blocking, 58.7 run blocking).
In a film study of the former Atlanta Falcon, Nick Falato wrote:
“Gono has traits to appreciate. He is an excellent athlete with quick feet to reach desired landmarks, and he possesses good mobility in his hips. He does well in combo and climb situations (Ace or Deuce), and he has enough functional strength to hold up at tackle. ...
“I like the addition of Gono. He’s a young offensive lineman with a lot of versatility and good athletic traits that can’t be taught. His deficiencies with punch timing, a lack of overall patience, and block framing can be corrected. I would not want Gono to start, but he has potential as a swing offensive lineman with upside.”
Barring injury, Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal are entrenched as the starting offensive tackles. Gono is in a group with Korey Cunningham, rookie Joshua Ezeudu and the rehabbing Matt Peart who would likely be in consideration for a reserve, or swing, tackle role.
Peart (torn ACL at the end of last season) figures to begin 2022 on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Ezeudu is likely still more guard than tackle at the NFL level. That would leave Gono and Cunningham.
As I try to project what the roster might look like in September, I can’t find a reason Gono would not be on it. Considering where the Giants are in their reconstruction, I would rather have a player like Gono in a reserve — a still young-ish player with some upside — than a grizzled veteran hanging on to the final days of his career. That makes more sense, and I think Gono would be fine in that role. The fact that Gono can play guard in an emergency furthers his case for making the 53-man roster.